Dear Crissy

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies

I’ve been so excited about posting this raspberry almond shortbread cookies recipe because it’s hands-down my favorite recipe of the year. It’s so very simple, but so amazingly good. These are just my kind of cookies, and they hold the spot as my favorite cookies to make during the holidays.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies - I just made these, they are by far the BEST holiday cookie recipe on Pinterest!

I’m not sure why, but when I saw these cookies in Better Homes and Gardens, I wasn’t really inspired at first. I guess in my mind, thumbprint cookies are a bit boring.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies - I just made these, they are by far the BEST holiday cookie recipe on Pinterest!

Boy, was I TOTALLY wrong on that one!

The texture of these beautiful little thumbprint cookies is perfect. They are a little crispy around the edges and super soft and chewy inside. The almond flavor is sweet and the cookies are delicious and buttery.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies - I just made these, they are by far the BEST holiday cookie recipe on Pinterest!

The sweet raspberry jam inside the cookies really sends them over the top and the sugary-glaze on top is divine. As much as I love chocolate, this particular cookie will win my vote every single time. I could eat an endless supply of them!

These raspberry almond shortbread thumbprint cookies are also just so pretty, delicate and festive. They look gorgeous arranged on a plate and really make the perfect holiday cookies.

I know that I’m going to be making a huge plate of these cookies to take to my family’s annual Christmas dinner. Of course, I’ll probably end up eating half the plate of cookies myself!

I hope your family enjoys these perfect little raspberry almond shortbread cookies as much as my family did!

No matter how you ended up on this recipe post, please be sure to save it on Pinterest so you don’t forget about it later. If you’re like me, you may think you’ll remember where you saw a certain recipe, but when it’s the night before the party and you’re trying to find that special raspberry almond shortbread cookies recipe to whip-up, you don’t want to have to waste a bunch of time trying to track it down. Trust me on this one, friends, it’s an amazing recipe.

Like this post? Check out these wonderful Christmas recipes next!

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies - I just made these, they are by far the BEST holiday cookie recipe on Pinterest!

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jam
  • sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract


  1. In a medium bowl beat butter medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the the 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Beat until well combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with electric mixer and then using a wooden spoon stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using your thumb, press an indentation into the center of each ball. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam into each indentation and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.
  3. For icing, in a medium bowl combine powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon water and 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract. Add enough of the remaining water to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle cookies with icing.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies - I just made these, they are by far the BEST holiday cookie recipe on Pinterest!

    142 Comments on “Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies”

  1. I just made these and they’re so good. I did 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 egg yolk in the batter. I add the flour a little at a time scraping the bowl several times then put in the refrigerator to chill. I’ve seen on the comments that the dough turned out crumbley but mine was fine. For the icing I did 1 tsp of almond extract and 1/2 tsp of vanilla. I had wanted to make these at Christmas but ran out of time with all of the other cookies I made so with Valentine’s day right around the corner I figured now was a good time. These were a hit!!

  2. As a few others have mentioned, my first batch spread out like wafers. The raspberry jam seeped completely through the cookie so when I tried to pick them up there was a hole in the middle! They were soooooo good though so I was determined to figure it out! Someone mentioned altitude as a possible culprit but I live near the coast so that’s definitely not a problem for me. I refrigerated the dough for an hour as directed, and even popped the individual batches back into the fridge for 10-15 minutes but nothing helped. So I did a little research and began to suspect that the butter had been TOO soft. (I took the butter out in the morning but didn’t get around to making the cookies until the evening so the butter was VERY soft. The dough came together easily; no problem incorporating all the flour at all which, perhaps, should have been a clue. Anyway, the next day I made another batch but only let the butter soften until it was just soft enough to work with and still a bit on the firm side (if I’d been making anything else I’d have let it soften a little longer). This time I understood the comments about having to work in the flour! And this time they turned out perfectly! So pretty and so delicious!!!

  3. I love your recipe. I too had difficulty with spreading the first two times I made these. Then I added 2 additional tablespoons of flour, rolled them in turbinano sugar, formed into a ball, made the thumbprint and filled with jelly I chilled the cookies on their cookie sheets for over an hour. The spreading problem was solved. Delicious and enjoyed by everyone. Thank you!

  4. Turned out perfect! Added lemon extract to icing instead of more almond. Tastes like raspberry lemonade cookies! Yumm!!Thanks for the recipe!!

  5. HELP!!   I followed the instructions to a T.  The dough is like sand and won’t stick together, let alone hold an imprint for the jam.   They look so yummy.  I’d love suggestions!  

  6. These were really delicious but many of them had the jam ooze out while baking so I spooned more jam in those after taking them out of the oven, and after placing them in the refrigerator for an hour they were just falling apart and crumbling when I went to roll them into balls so I had to let them warm up in my hands before rolling them.

  7. Hi Crissy ! This recipe had me at raspberry!! Have you ever tried making them with a gluten free flour? I have celiac so can’t do wheat flour.  Thank you!

  8. Make sure the butter is soft before using. It makes the dough much easier to handle. Also – for those who are having trouble with it spreading – always put your cookie sheet in the freezer so it’s cold when you put the cookies on it and put them in the oven. Cuts down on the spread. These cookies are absolutely delicious!

  9. Dough was very dry and falling apart;needs more moisture in it to stay together; not a good a recipe 

  10. Hi Crissy, I was wondering if you have tried to make these into cutout cookies. And if so what would your suggestions be  on perfecting the dough for that?

  11. How do you store these cookies?  I would like to make them a few days earlier than I need them

  12. Hi! These look delicious and I cannot wait to try them. Has anyone tried freezing them? I am trying to get ahead on some Christmas cookie baking and curious if these can be made a week or so in advance. Thank you!

  13. Absolutely delicious, thank you!

  14. I’m sorry to post a negative comment but these have to be the worst cookies I’ve ever made. The dough from the get go was crumbly and yes I put it in the frig. I followed the recipe as stated.

  15. These look absolutely delicious! Just wondering if you’d recommend salted or unsalted butter? Thanks!

  16. I made these cookies to the letter of the recipe but they came out flat what did I do wrong?

  17. Loved these and so easy to make.  My husband said he expects these at other times of the year, not just at Christmas.

  18. I have to say that these are the most delicious cookies I’ve ever tasted! So easy to make, I didn’t make the glaze because frankly they don’t need it but I’m making them again and next time I’ll try it.  Best cookie ever!

  19. Just made a batch of these for cookie boxes for distance Christmas celebration this year. My cookies must’ve been too big because I only got 28 not 36 i believe the recipe yielded. I used Lingonberry instead of Raspberry jam because it’s what I had on hand.  Delicious and thank you for the recipe! Happy Holidays :)

  20. Can the dough be frozen for a few weeks before baking?

  21. i am making them now, but there is no way i can add all the flour, its very crumbly dough. so i tried adding a bit of water?

    • I’m thinking your butter was not soft enough sometimes when my butter isn’t softened enough it turns into more like a flaky pie dough, so make sure your butter is very soft but not melted 

  22. These look delicious! Not a huge raspberry fan but was thinking of using rhubarb instead.

  23. This is my good to cookie. Everyone that try’s them ask for more. Thanks so much for the recipe. 

  24. Should I add salt so they’ll stay fresh longer?

  25. Made these last night for my husband the raspberry fan – I’m now a fan!!  These are absolutely fantastic 👍. So buttery with the tang of raspberry and the lovely almond flavor.  Truly delicious.  Thanks for this recipe!  I’ll be making these again.

  26. These were fantastic! I did use a vanilla/almond extract combo since I’m not a huge fan of almond extract. I rolled the dough into balls and made the thumbprints first and then refrigerated them before baking. I think it’s so much easier than trying to work with cold dough. This recipe is a keeper!

  27. could you use vegan butter for these

  28. I just made these for Christmas Day and they were perfect. And so pretty! I doubled the recipe and did put a little less almond flavoring than the recipe called for. I also added some jalapeño jelly to the raspberry jelly for a couple batches. It added a kick and was soooo good! I’ll definitely be making these again. Thanks! 

  29. First time making these cookies and everyone loved them. These are a new family favorite. I’m sure I will bake these throughout the year. YUMMY!

  30. I made these and for some reason they spread and came out really flat? Followed recipe precisely. They still tasted delicious but it was quite disappointing as I wanted to serve them for Christmas. I have made these before a couple years ago and don’t recall this issue? Any suggestions? I did use parchment paper to bake the cookies on. Not sure if that would of caused the problem?

    • Altitude is usually the culprit. If you are above 3600’ try adding 2T up to 1/4 cup additional flour.  Also, some butter is greasier than others in which case 1-2T should compensate.

      • I’m using Kerrygold butter when I bake and the cookies are coming out flat as a pancake. Ive tried 2 batches and have followed your recipe very carefully and have the same result. I do not live in high altitude…the only thing I can think of is the butter. What should the consistency of the dough be like when all of the ingredients are mixed together?

    • Hi, did you put the cookie batter in the refrigerator as the instructions said?

      • I believe Kerry Gold is the issue, it’s a high fat butter. I baked these today and they spread really flat. I used Kerry Gold. Delicious, but cannot serve at holiday party.

    • I find that working with cold dough works best and prevents them from spreading. Once the dough gets too warm they spread too fast. Also make sure you are using a cookie sheet that is not warm.

  31. My family and I agree that these are some of the best cookies ever.  Thanks so much for the recipe.  It even works well at a high altitude!  

  32. I made these with my kids tonight for Christmas and they’re very good! I think chocolate chip cookies will always be my favorite but these turned out exactly as you described and whipped up quickly (my butter was cool so I didn’t even have to refrigerate). Thanks for sharing!

  33. These look amazing! I saw that someone had success with vegan butter. Has anyone tried coconut oil?

  34. These taste good but my cookies spread out and we’re thin. Not sure what I did wrong? 

  35. I’ve been making these for years. I’ve given the recipe to several friends and they had issues with hard dough that’s not too easy to form a ball also with spreading issues. I have found that once the dough is made, putting them right on the sheet and making the imprint, filling with jam then sticking them in the fridge to cool before baking, makes them foolproof and easier to handle.  Also, keeps the dough from getting overworked when it’s cold.  

  36. Yummy…these are so good. I made these cookies for an office brunch- and I’m giving out the recipe to everyone because they love them so much. Definitely a keeper!!

  37. These cookies are delicious…I used lemon curd and strawberry jam for color and substituted vanilla for almond extract.  My cookies spread out in the oven…still good but not the pretty shape in the picture. Any suggestions??

  38. Made for first time and they didn’t hold their shape while baking. They taste good. I just called them lacy rasberry cookies.

  39. MAKE THESE!! So easy and always a crowd pleaser. 

  40. These are super easy to make and SOOOOO good ! Next time maybe use just a little less almond extract, but good.

  41. Instead of the raspberry, I used strawberry jam and they turned out REALLY good. Nice and buttery. although next time I will use a little less of the almond extract. Thanks for sharing !

  42. I am not a big almond flavor person so I used lemon extract instead of the almond extract in the cookies and icing. I also used lemon curd, raspberry and strawberry preserves for three different colored cookies. They turned out wonderful. Very light and melted in your mouth. Great recipe!!

    • Thank you for this comment! I was wondering if I could sub out the almond and they still taste good. We are not big almond people here. :)

  43. I had spreading issues. They were thin even though the dough was good and cold, and perfect for my impression.  Do you use parchment or not? One other recipe I tried said parchment can make them spread.   

    • Hi Jackie,
      I used parchment for my first batch and they didn’t brown after 12 mins. I baked the second batch without parchment and they still took close to 15 minutes to brown and appear done. I got 32 cookies out of the recipe so maybe mine were a bit bigger?

    • You need a few tablespoons more of flour.  Maybe 2 heaping ones.  

  44. Amazing cookie! Any ideas on luck with freezing them?

  45. I found the dough to be a perfect texture – easy to form without breakage.  I thought the amount of almond extract in the icing to be way too strong.  I would cut it back to 1/2 tsp.

  46. These turned out perfectly after 10 min and 1 min on cookie sheet; I skipped the drizzle. 
    Note : the dough can get crumbly towards the end but you just need to piece the crumbs together and the butter will combine them into a ball so don’t add liquid 
    Could swap out any preserves for a different flavor.  

  47. I followed the directions exactly as written and these cookies were perfect! They are so easy to make, pretty to look at and the best part is they are delicious!

  48. Everyone’s favorite cookie, however, I just can’t get the glaze right.  I’ve tweaked it over and over and no matter thick or thin, it always runs together.  My cookies never have that pretty drizzle look.  Suggestions????

    • I use milk instead of water, alittle at a time.

    • Try putting the glaze in the corner of a sandwich bag, squeeze it down so there’s no air in the glaze, and snip the corner of the bag off. Be sure not to make the hole too big!! Then drizzle the glaze over the cookies like you’re using a piping bag!! Perfect drizzle every time :) I do this for anything that requires drizzling!

    • I always put mine in a plastic baggy and then trim off just the very tip of one of the corners. That helped me keep in uniform and pretty even though i had to make it thick enough so it wouldn’t run together!

    • Drizzle with the tiniest opening.  Make it thread thin.

  49. I make these as well but I switch out the glaze with melted white chocolate drizzled over the tops. It is a huge hit whenever I make them

  50. The best almond cookie ever. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  51. Love this recipe, when l made them for the first time l could  no way knead the dough it was impossible so l tried adding a little milk , it was perfect and they turned out a treat, l could not understand why the recipe had no liquid  yet my mixture was like sand and would not hold together, Thankyou for the lovely recipe.

  52. Made this cookie recipe for a Wedding Cookie Table and hands down these cookies were a HIT!! I wish I would have baked more as they were the first ones gone! Great taste and so many compliments! Love the almond cookie flavor with the raspberry filling. Perfect combo!

  53. books like a lovely recipe for a tea.  I hope to try t his and let you know.

  54. Thanks for this recipe. I am not a big fan of blogs–too much cover story and too many pictures. I just want a good recipe and reviews from people who have made the recipe. Not notes drooling over the picture and promising to make the recipe “this weekend”. Well, I made this recipe because I love all things raspberry. It did not disappoint!. Getting ready to make these again. I followed the recipe exactly (maybe I was heavy handed with the jam) and they are very pretty AND tasty.

  55. Crissy, these cookies are definitely NOT boring!! In fact they are my new favorite. I am a chocolate lover but these surpass all my chocolate recipes. They are easy (fun) to make and all you need to do is follow the recipe as written and you get the best thumbprints I’ve ever had. Thank you for posting the recipe.

  56. I made the cookies dough last night and removed from fridg early this morning.  Had to thaw a bit before I could form the cookies but once soft, it was easy to fill and bake.  So very easy and they were delicious.  I’m making them for a New Year get together as well.  Thanks for this declicius recipe!  

  57. The cookies taste great.  However I wish I would have known that the cookie dough is of a coarse consistency.  Even after refrigerating the dough I had to try hard to make into a ball.  I use a honey wooden dowel spoon to make the indentation in the middle of the cookie dough.  Then i pinched the coarse cookie dough around the wooden honey dowel spoon to form the base.  I was shocked at the coarse consistency of the cookie just wished it had been mentioned on the recipe instructions.  I thought I had missed an ingredient.  These hints my help someone else out how is trying this recipe for the first time.  

    • Thank you for mentioning the consistency, I had the same thought about the crumbly, Sandy texture…

      I felt like these would.have benefited from a little salt – did you all use salted butter?

    • Dough was very dry and coarse. The balls crumbled when I tried to make the well. Tossed my dough out. Disappointed.

      • Mine too! I followed the directions to the letter – refrigerated the dough, etc. They took forever to actually brown and fell apart when I tried to take them off the cookie sheet. Totally disappointment- they looked so pretty.

      • Same with me. After refrigeration, dough was a little better and used slightly damp hands to roll into balls. They also do not brown! took 15 minutes to get a little tan, meanwhile, jam ran out of the top. Perhaps a higher baking temp should be used? Husband loved them, but men eat anything! LOL! I was disappointed.

  58. Very easy to make. Recipe only makes about 2 1/2 dozen, so if your making for a crowd you’ll need to double recipe. Delicious.

  59. I doubled the recipe ( making Christmas cookies and these looked wonderful )
    They came out PERFECTLY DELICIOUS and look exactly as pictured 
    Thank you

    I will make again 
    I had made the dough late in day and opted to refrigerate til next morning so the dough was very cold … I separated it into fourths and shaped into logs then cut them and rolled into balls … I think I will do that again but maybe make the logs before refrigerating 

  60. I absolutely love these cookies and so does my family! I typically make them around the holidays. The only issue is that they always spread at the bottom leaving a brown thin crumbly edge instead of the lovely puffy sides in your photos. Any suggestions? I wont stop making them but it would be nice to have them be a little more presentable! Thanks in advance!!

    • If you’re having trouble with brown bottoms, bake a little less time. Take them out before just before you think they’re done. I’ve made this recipe numerous times, it’s very easy to overcook them. A bit underdone is ok!  They are dang delicious! Since I’ve found the exile I’ve made them at least once every Christmas 

    • Can you use brown sugar or confectioners sugar instead of granulated sugar? I am out of regular and do not want to make a trip to the store. I havr made these lots of times and they are a family favorite as they remind me of England.

    • I agree! My cookies have always spread and become very thin, and therefore crispy brown on the edges. I have this same recipe….circa 1966, clipped from a magazine. I make them every year for Christmas, always tweaking to get them to look like these photos do! I have never been successful. There is a big ratio of butter to flour…that has to be part of the issue. I also think that chilling the dough causes a problem, too. I think that the cookies need to bake fast before the butter can melt out and cause the spreading….They are tasty, but would look so much better if they didn’t spread out so much!

    • Try forming the cookies on the cookie sheet and then putting in the frig for 15-20 minutes. Really cold cookies should solve the spreading issues 

  61. Fabulous cookies, but a word of caution… DO NOT use Simply Fruit preserves…runs beyond the cookie and gets gummy!

  62. Easy and delicious. They look complicated to make but their not! My new favorite cookie! ?

  63. Amazing recipe, thanks. I subbed vegan butter and they turned out great

  64. Love this recipe!! Delicious and easy!

  65. Can these be made with gluten free flour. If so are there any changes that I need to make . If using all purpose gluten free flour would it be the same amount.  Thank you 

  66. These are the best Christmas cookies! I made them last year to give as small gifts and EVERYONE loved them. I can’t wait to make them again!
    The recipe is also simple so you can’t go wrong!

  67. I have made these the last few years Everyone loves these and requested for cookie exchange. I do wonder tho if anyone has tried to make ahead freeze them? 

  68. Melt in your mouth good!  Excellent recipe.

  69. These beautiful cookies are so delicious and so easy to make. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe.

  70. No eggs in this recipe?

  71. These were delicious. I made them at Christmas and they were the best, so delicious yet so easy. I’m making them again for a friends birthday soon.

  72. They are delicious. But mine split and the jam runs out. What am I doing wrong??

  73. Been making this recipe for years. Always a hit.

  74. I’ve made these cookies the last few years and they’ve become a fan favorite. I have some dough chilling and I’m going to do some with raspberry jam and a few with just a simple pecan in the center. 

  75. Simply delicious!   This recipe has become a family favorite.

  76. These cookies are so delicious, they’re dangerous. You can’t eat just one. Great recipe. 

  77. I just made these for the first time. Turned out delicious but took almost triple the time to cook? Also only yielded 20 cookies. Probably need to make the balls smaller.

  78. I LOVE making these every Christmas! They are a huge hit! If you have extra what I do is store them in an air tight container by themselves with parchment paper between each layer so they dont stick. If you are not eating them within a week freeze that container with the parchment paper:) Merry Christmas!

  79. I am just making these now .. I put dough in the fridge for an hour as recommended but I wish I hadn’t. Too hard .. now waiting for the dough to warm up before shaping into balls.

  80. I’ve made these cookies for Christmas for the last couple of years. They’re very easy and a crowd-pleaser every time.

  81. I just made these – but used coconut sugar and homemade “jam” (frozen blackberries and raspberries, honey, and a tad of cornstarch in a pot on the stove) for less sugar content. It worked well, and the cookies are delicious!

  82. I made these and baked as per the recipe and they spread out like crazy. I tried chilling the dough and also tried at 325 and 375, but no success.  I am a real cookie baker and so, wondering why this may have happened.

    • Wonder what would happen if you used a bit more flour? I had the same problem and am gonna try more flour next time. Hmmm…

  83. Hi,  can I freeze the thumbprint cookies?

    • Cookies spread like crazy. Next set in the oven I added more flour to and put them straight on the pan instead of on silicone and went much better. I would suggest adding flour if anyone else has this problem. Plenty sweet without adding any frosting drizzle also!!

  84. Hi. hope you see this! :) first, is there a special sugar to sprinkle on top or just reg granulated? and my first try some were flat, any idea why? oh and when I make my ident the sides split a bit and I wondered if there was a trick /tip for avoiding that? thanks so much. they are delicious!!

  85. Should I use salted or unsalted butter? Or does it not really matter? 

  86. Could I put the dough through a cookie press?  Maybe not chilling before?  

  87. I just made these cookies and I have to say I found the almond extract WAY to overwhelming and too strong a flavor. I could barely taste the raspberry filling. So, I attempted again using a half a tsp of lemon extract in the cookie dough and just a few drops of lemon extract in the glaze and it worked out perfectly! I find that the lemon and the raspberry compliment each other quite well and is more to our taste. Thank you for a good base for me to start from.

  88. This is one of the most delicious cookies I have ever tasted. They are bakery quality. Without fail, everyone who tastes them, asks for the recipe.

  89. I LOVE these cookies! Just a quick tip, I found that using my thumb to make the indent made a “ramp” more than in indent. I used the back of my teaspoon or 1/2 teaspoon. It gives the perfect round and even indent. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  90. I made these tonight for a cookie exchange I’m going to tomorrow. What a delicious buttery cookie! Perfect for a holiday tray :)

  91. I really love all these recipes for the holidays. I have only one wish and that is for the listing of how many cookies the recipes make.

  92. What brand of jam do you use/recommend? I don’t usually use jams or jellies so I have no idea where to start.

  93. I have made these for years-I think I found it in a print ad for butter. They are delicious and very easy to make. Will make again this year for Christmas-a pretty cookie that tastes great.

  94. hmmm… I made these last year…going to make them tomorrow again.. but mine went straight into the freezer and I just took out what I needed when I needed them. They were fine.

    • HI Ann, Im thinking about doing this recipe for a cookie exchange, the reality is i will probably have to freeze some, Im likely making them on wed, Thursday to deliver on monday? Your froze fine?

  95. made these cookies & they were wonderful! the only problem I found is how 2 store them; it was a warm day when I made them so I put them in the fridge & that wasn’t a good idea (2 hard) cookie tin made them 2 soft. any suggestions?

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